Monday, 30 January 2017

EXPRESS UNITY & STRENGTH IN DIVERSITY




Found above on facebook, this morning, not sure who has organised it but worth supporting. It inspired the following. Cheers.

Everyone is equal

we're all the same inside

I believe in unity 

standing  together with pride  

beyond politicians cruel game

and vicious biting tonques

building bridges not walls

our love they will never contain

with diversity we can join together 

speaking the language of humanity

that does not dwell on our differences

keeps on reaching out, releasing our hopes.


( The above , incidentally first poem of mine released since Jane's passing, 8/1/17


Sunday, 29 January 2017

John Hurt ( 22/1/40 - 26/1/17 ) - Speaking out

 RIP to the brilliant, incomparable,Oscar nominated actor  and all round good geezer John Hurt whose career spanned six decades who has passed away after a battle with pancreatic cancer aged 77. His vast resume  included works like The Elephant Man, and what is likely the most widely viewed adaptation of George Orwell’s  chilling warning 1984, Alien, The Naked Civil Servant,Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Hellboy, Doctor Who, and V for Vendetta, to name just a few.
Here in an earlier clip his voice still resonates as he speaks his mind in support for Amnesty International. His message a simple one: "Stand up for humanity and human rights."
" Human rights are ours by birth. They cannot be given or taken away by any individual,organisation or court ." - John Hurt, man of principle, RIP


Anger over Trump's Muslim ban


Our unelected PM, Theresa May's eagerness to be the first foreign leader  to shake Donald Trump's hand was simply nauseating to look at. Afterwards she refused  to criticise him for his blanket Muslim ban and has invited him to visit the UK..
 "The moment we once again lost a little more moral authority. The hypocrisy of the debate on British values becomes more stark by the day." said Conservative peer Baroness Warsi
The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn added: "President Trump's executive order against refugees and Muslims should shock and appal us all", he went on to highlight the fact that Britain's greatest Olympian would also be banned from the country. He also called for Donald Trump to be banned from UK visit until Muslim ban is lifted.http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/donald-trump-muslim-ban-jeremy-corbyn-uk-mp-immigration-policy-theresa-may-response-a7551636.html
Trump on Friday signed an executive order that will curb immigration and the entry of refugees from some Muslim-majority countries, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan and Syria. He separately said he wanted the US to give priority to Syrian Christians fleeing the civil war there. All Refugees are blocked for three months. Syrian refugees are banned permanently..It will also shut down the entire refugee program for 120 days.The administration’s assault on civil liberties explicitly targets the world’s most vulnerable populations — refugees and asylum seekers fleeing devastating wars.
A global backlash against U.S. President Donald Trump's immigration curbs has since gathered strength  as several countries including long-standing American allies criticised the measures as discriminatory and divisive.
The United Nations refugee agency and the International Organisation for Migration called on the Trump administration to continue offering asylum to people fleeing war and persecution, saying its resettlement programme was vital.
"The needs of refugees and migrants worldwide have never been greater and the US resettlement programme is one of the most important in the world," the two Geneva-based agencies said in a joint statement on Saturday.
The order which is nothing short of a Muslim ban by another name, is cruel and callous, and espouses positions contrary to the professed values of the United States, based on bigotry and will certainly produce more problems than it purports to solve. The ban is with immediate effect and has already caused widespread chaos, fear and disruption. Airport authorities in the US have already held passengers for interrogation. There have been reported instances of people boarding flights before the announcement was made being detained on arrival in the US.Deeply upsetting and troubling to all caught up in all of this.Among those also believed to have been affected is Olympic hero Mo Farah, who is a British passport holder but was born in Somalia – one of seven countries to which travel restrictions apply.
Theresa May's bowing and fawning and deferential manner to this xenophobic racist, known for his well documented misogyny and vulgarity and her initial refusal to condemn him for the Muslim ban is simply shameful and shocking. The Presidents actions have horrified the world and this was a moment when she should have showed us what side she's on. But rather than fighting to build a world that is open, tolerant and united,  May, Trump and their allies are simply dividing the world in a very dangerous way making it a  scary place to exist at the moment.Many have compared May's behaviour to former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's during the run up to the Second World War. Anger was seen across social media, with the hashtag TheresaTheAppeaser  trending in the UK, as well as several related hashtags.
It emerged late on Saturday that the restrictions would also apply to people with dual citizenship – including Brits. and May after coming under fierce attack  has since been forced to make a hasty half -hearted U-turn over Trump's ban on refugees from Muslim majority countries, issuing a midnight statement saying she does not agree with the policy..
Emergency protests at major international US airports by anti-racist campaignerss to lift the ban are now in effect.Campaigners holding banners saying “Muslim lives matter” and “We are ALL immigrants” have filled the streets. Tomorrow, more protests are expected. An official petition to ban Trump from visiting the UK on a planned state visit later this year hit 120,000 and counting in just a few hours –  meaning it must be considered for debate by Parliament:-

.https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/171928

 Protests targeting Trump will now be a big priority for the anti-war and anti-racist movements here in the UK too. An opportunity to oppose the threats to migrants and the anti-Muslim racism in this country, as well as showing solidarity with protests in the US.Anti-Fascist groups have organised several protests against Trump, with one due to be held outside Downing Street Monday evening.  Hopefully the people will not let this stand.

 1941 Dr. Seuss cartoon criticising America's stance on refusing safe haven for Jews. Recognise the t-shirt slogan?

Friday, 27 January 2017

Holocaust Memorial Day





Today is Holocaust Memorial Day. Together, we will remember the victims of the Holocaust and genocide.- a time for us all to reflect on the Nazis attempt to wipe out Jews, Gypsies and other  minority groups, Trade Unionists, Communists,  homosexuals, people with mental and physical difficulties, Jehovah Witnesses, anarchists, Poles and other slavic peoples, all targeted for destruction and decimation  for racial, ethnic reasons, based on the fascists twisted 'Aryan' concept of a master race.
From the time they assumed power in 1933, the Nazis used  persecution, propoganda, and legislation to deny human rights to so many. Using hate as their foundation, setting out to systematically destroy all opposition.
By the end of the Holocaust historians estimate the total number of deaths to be 11 million, and the Nazis succeeded on an industrial scale in murdering two thirds of European Jews. Men, women, children who had perished in ghettoes and mass shootings, slaughtered in concentration camps and extermination camps on such a horrific scale.
Holocaust Memorial day is now  held today because it marks the liberation of Aushwitz-Birkenau , the largest of the Nazi Concentration Camps. The United Nations declared it a day for observance in 2005.But it is also used today to mark and remember all subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia  and Darfur etc etc.
Human beings are capable of doing such wicked things, so that is why we should continue to confront the dangers of intolerance, hate, racism and fascism, and defeat the ideas that continue to create so much pain. We must never forget the journeys of all persecuted. support those that face hostility today, and when we say never again, we must mean never again.

Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) was a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps, despite his ardent nationalism. Niemöller is perhaps best remembered for the following   quotation:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

 
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
 
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
 
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

So continue to remember, defend, and speak out if you can. 

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Here's what the orange arsehole has done so far:

 
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the DOJ’s Violence Against Women programs.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Minority Business Development Agency.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Economic Development Administration.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the International Trade Administration.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Legal Services Corporation.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Environmental and Natural Resources Division of the DOJ.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Electricity Deliverability and Energy Reliability.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Fossil Energy.
* On January 20th, 2017, DT ordered all regulatory powers of all federal agencies frozen.
* On January 20th, 2017, DT ordered the National Parks Service to stop using social media after RTing factual, side by side photos of the crowds for the 2009 and 2017 inaugurations.
* On January 20th, 2017, roughly 230 protestors were arrested in DC and face unprecedented felony riot charges. Among them were legal observers, journalists, and medics.
* On January 20th, 2017, a member of the International Workers of the World was shot in the stomach at an anti-fascist protest in Seattle. He remains in critical condition.
* On January 21st, 2017, DT brought a group of 40 cheerleaders to a meeting with the CIA to cheer for him during a speech that consisted almost entirely of framing himself as the victim of dishonest press.
* On January 21st, 2017, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer held a press conference largely to attack the press for accurately reporting the size of attendance at the inaugural festivities, saying that the inauguration had the largest audience of any in history, “period.”
* On January 22nd, 2017, White House advisor Kellyann Conway defended Spicer’s lies as “alternative facts” on national television news.
* On January 22nd, 2017, DT appeared to blow a kiss to director James Comey during a meeting with the FBI, and then opened his arms in a gesture of strange, paternal affection, before hugging him with a pat on the back.
* On January 23rd, 2017, DT reinstated the global gag order, which defunds international organizations that even mention abortion as a medical option.
* On January 23rd, 2017, Spicer said that the US will not tolerate China’s expansion onto islands in the South China Sea, essentially threatening war with China.
* On January 23rd, 2017, DT repeated the lie that 3-5 million people voted “illegally” thus costing him the popular vote.
* On January 23rd, 2017, it was announced that the man who shot the anti-fascist protester in Seattle was released without charges, despite turning himself in.
* On January 24th, 2017, Spicer reiterated the lie that 3-5 million people voted “illegally” thus costing DT the popular vote.
* On January 24th, 2017, DT tweeted a picture from his personal Twitter account of a photo he says depicts the crowd at his inauguration and will hang in the White House press room. The photo is curiously dated January 21st, 2017, the day AFTER the inauguration and the day of the Women’s March, the largest inauguration related protest in history.
* On January 24th, 2017, the EPA was ordered to stop communicating with the public through social media or the press and to freeze all grants and contracts.
* On January 24th, 2017, the USDA was ordered to stop communicating with the public through social media or the press and to stop publishing any papers or research. All communication with the press would also have to be authorized and vetted by the White House.
* On January 24th, 2017, HR7, a bill that would prohibit federal funding not only to abortion service providers, but to any insurance coverage, including Medicaid, that provides abortion coverage, went to the floor of the House for a vote.
* On January 24th, 2017, Director of the Department of Health and Human Service nominee Tom Price characterized federal guidelines on transgender equality as “absurd.”
* On January 24th, 2017, DT ordered the resumption of construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline, while the North Dakota state congress considers a bill that would legalize hitting and killing protestors with cars if they are on roadways.
* On January 24th, 2017, it was discovered that police officers had used confiscated cell phones to search the emails and messages of the 230 demonstrators now facing felony riot charges for protesting on January 20th, including lawyers and journalists whose email accounts contain privileged information of clients and sources.
And yesterday: the wall and a ban on Muslims entering from a large number of countries and the end to accepting Syrian refugees.
Cheers Linda.
If you plan to share, please copy and paste rather than share. You'll reach more people.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Paul Robeson ( 9/4/1896 - 23/1/1976) - A hero excluded

A lot of sad distressing news at the moment, here and elsewhere, so I return to a subject I have written about previously, Paul Robeson, https://teifidancer-teifidancer.blogspot.co.uk/2016/08/paul-robeson-941898-23176-and-people-of.html the great singer and actor who was also an anti fascist and tireless campaigner for justice. He was shot at by the KKK, blacklisted after World War II and had his passport revoked but refused to be made silent and remains to me a continuing source of inspiration and strength. 
Robeson was born  in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1898. His father started life as a plantation slave in North Carolina, but escaped in 1860 and eventually become a pastor. Robeson recalls, in his book Here I Stand (1958), his father’s determination and loyalty to his convictions: “From my youngest days I was imbued with that concept,” he writes. His family’s longer history of activism is noteworthy, too; his maternal great-great-grandfather, Cyrus Bustill, became in 1787 a founder of the Free African Society, the first mutual aid organisation of African Americans.
Robeson was only the third black student to be accepted by Rutgers College, winning a scholarship in 1915. He was a fine athlete and joined the football team; but on Saturday the 14th  of  October 1916 he was excluded from the Rutgers football team. He was one of their best players but Washington and Lee University refused to play against a black player. Preceding this event at his first football training , he was savagely attacked by his own team mates unwilling to accept a Black man in their midst. Leaving him with cuts and bruises, a broken nose, a sprained shoulder and a damaged hand.Did this deter him, hell no, his coach  named Sandford refused to comply when the demands were made again and  Robeson went on to  to be named a football all American twice.
He would also become the class valedictoriam, a lawyer, and one of the best 20th Century , actors, singers and advocate for justice the world has ever known. He would  go on to speak against colonialism, racism and fascism, using his voice to spread his message of equality peace and freedom.
This despite the efforts of the American government to hide and suppress his voice from history.They took away his passport in 1950, banned him from international  platforms and audiences, and restricted  him from TV appearances at home. He had done nothing illegal; he was never arrested, or put on trial; yet the powers that be were determined to destroy him nonetheless for his political beliefs. He was to be harassed by zealots of the House of Un-American Activities, to whom he gave no quarter.
 “I care nothing – less than nothing – about what the lords of the land, the Big White Folks, think of me and my ideas,” Robeson later wrote, in Here I Stand. “For more than 10 years they have persecuted me in every way they could – by slander and mob violence, by denying me the right to practice my profession as an artist, by withholding my right to travel abroad. To these, the real Un-Americans, I merely say: ‘All right – I don’t like you either!’”
On  Saturday 5 October 1957, Paul Robeson sang to Wales for the first time since  1949, to 5000 people crammed into the Porthcawl Pavillion for the  Tenth Annual Miners Eisteddfod,  due to the new technology of a trans-Atlantic telephone which triumphed over the passport ban and their families. They had not forgotten his sympathy for the plight of the miners who he had lived among in the 1930's. In 1938  he had also paid a visit to Mountain Ash  for a ceremony attend by 7,000 people  to commemorate 33 Welshmen who had died  fighting in the Spanish Civil War.
But even the great Robeson was not strong enough to withstand the psychological effects of blacklisting and the persecution he had endured over the years. After his passport was restored in 1958, he attempted comeback tours, but severe depressions gripped him; in 1961, he tried to take his own life after a party and was subsequently treated with ECT in London. Much later, his son considered whether the “attempted suicide” might perhaps have been a drug-induced incident in which the CIA could be implicated.
Unable to attend Carnegie Hall’s tribute concert on his 75th birthday, he sent a recorded message, declaring: “I want you to know that I am the same Paul, dedicated as ever to the worldwide cause of humanity for freedom, peace and brotherhood.”.
He lived the final years of his life in seclusion in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and died there yesterday on January 23rd, 1976. He is fondly remembered because he not only stood up for the injustices that African-Americans faced, but also was able to empathize and connect with other people’s struggles, he funded Jews escaping Nazi Germany, spoke out against the fascists in Spanish Civil War, campaigned against colonialism in African countries and stood with laborers in the United States and proudly with the people of Wales, an internationalist who identified with the most important issues of freedom and social justice of his time, and practiced what he preached.
His courageous proud message lives on, and he remains forever immortal in my heart.

Paul Robeson - Old Man River

Paul Robeson - Here I stand documentary


 
-

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Is it OK to punch Nazis?



“Only one thing could have stopped us – if our adversaries had understood its principle and from the first day smashed with the utmost brutality the nucleus of our new movement.” – Adolf Hitler

"Punching Nazi's" has been trending across social media, here's a little disclaimer from me, it really is a tried and tested method, a simple act of resistance that has been proven to work  let's continue it until a whole generation has learnt it's the thing to do. Punch Nazi's and organise!
There should be no tolerance for intolerance. Those who preach racial hatred and instigate racism, from Hitler, Mussolini  to white nationalist Richard Spenser above ( who is well known for his promotion of white supremacist views, at the time of the incident in video, Mr. Spencer was explaining the meaning of Pepe the Frog, a cartoon figure adopted as a mascot by the alt-right, a racist, far-right fringe movement that is anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic and anti-feminist. ) deserve all that's coming to them.
Remember there is nothing civil about fascists in the first place.We must be ready to meet their intimidation with greater intimidation.Mr. Spencer said he was worried about being attacked again.“I don’t think I could go out to an inauguration event without bodyguards or a protest or a conference,” he said. “I am more worried about going out to dinner on an average Tuesday because these kind of people are roaming around.”On Periscope, Mr. Spencer also expressed concern about the spread of the footage of the attack online.“I’m afraid this is going to become the meme to end all memes,” he said. “That I’m going to hate watching this.” So from the horses mouth, punching a nazi works. And if you fail to get your message across you need to punch harder.


Friday, 20 January 2017

Donald Trump: the world is watching


Currently in light of the Trump presidency, and  following yesterdays post am feeling quite numb. But I also  realise that we are all now living in  days of anxiety, fear and confusion and a period of deep transition. We must continue to bear witness and try to keep hope alive, let love triumph not the forces of racism and hate, standing  up against the forces of the far right and the politics of hate by continuing to build Bridges Not Walls, refusing to accept a world where bigotry and extreme right wing views and language are accepted.
Donald Trump now the leader of the most powerful countries in the world for at least four years wants you to give up and let him shape the world in his backward vision.For anyone concerned  about human rights, the inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the United States, be under no illusion, poses an acute threat to the global human rights movement. He’s threatened our planet and he’s threatened Muslims, women and countless others with his hate filled rhetoric with echos of the 1930's ,and it should be noted that currently the White House has removed its climate change web page, and the healthcare, civil rights and LGBT sections. The election of Donald Trump makes our world an incredibly dangerous place. If you believe another world is possible,now is not the time to simply sit back  and watch the Donald Trump show from the sidelines, we must continue to resist Trumpism,  and combat the conditions that allowed its emergence.
As Donald J. Trump starts his term as 45th President of the United States, tell him to abandon the hateful rhetoric and promise to stand up for human rights for everyone in America and around the world.

Take action :

 Will you stand up for human rights , President Trump?
 
https://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions/will-you-stand-human-rights-president-trump?utm_source=Paid+Facebook&utm_medium=Targeted&utm_campaign=Human+Rights&utm_content=TRUMPINAUG_KW1

Another world is possible.
 

an earlier poem:-
 https://teifidancer-teifidancer.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/intolerantina-poem-for-donald-trump.html

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Apologies some Sally Oldfield , for the mighty furbster Jane Elizabeth Husband ( (9/5/60 - 8/1/17) cheers - Love is everywhere



as fires flicker

and tears are shed

in numbness

my own eyes dripping wet

charged now

with  everlasting love

gliding and glittering

in a thousand different ways

trusting and always knowing

when dreams overflow

love is everywhere.

Linton Kwesi Johnson - New Crass Massahkah



On this day  in 1981 13 young people died in a fire  in New Cross, London, after a party  in a suspected racist attack. The police bungled the investigation  and no one was arrested or prosecuted.  The police interrogating party goes as if they were criminals rather than victims.
Sickeningly racist abuse was sent to victims families.
In the immediate aftermath of the fire to voice anger against the authorities apathy a march took place across London, involving about 15,000 black people.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Wonderful news: Chelsea Manning's Sentence Commutted

 

Chelsea Elizabeth Manning, the US army soldier,,one of the most prominent whistleblowers in modern times who with immense bravery exposed the nature of modern warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan, and who then went on to pay the price with a 35-year military prison sentence,will  now be released on May 17, instead of remaining in military custody until 2045 as originally sentenced,as a gift from outgoing President Barack Obama.
This momentous announcement of a commutation  that can not be reversed by a future president, that I didn't think was actually going to happen.does not compensate in any way though, for the brutal treatment Chelsea was illegally subjected to while awaiting trial at the Quantico Marine Brig , having to spend 7-years imprisoned for releasing documents that should never have been classified in the first place, that were clearly in the public interest, that helped shed light on human rights abuses, war crimes, corruption, and government deception. Manning twice attempted suicide last year,also going on a hunger strike which only ended after the military agreed to provide her with gender transition treatment. at the male military prison where she was being held at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, as a result of the terrible ordeal that she was forced  to endure.
Chelsea lived for four years as a teenager here in Wales. Her Welsh family have said in a statement that they were "overjoyed", adding that there would "always be a welcome for her here in Wales". 
Congratulations Chelsea, and thank you to the to all the people across the country and the world who stood by her in  their unrelenting support for her cause. Without them, this day would not have been possible, this victory is a victory for all who continued to stand with her.For once justice has prevailed. Let us hope that Chelsea, this deeply sensitive intelligent  heroic woman, who has inspired millions around the world, now gets the life that she has been denied for years. I cannot wait for the day that she actually walks free.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

What are years - Marianne Moore ( 15/11/ 1887 - 5/2/ 72)




Death takes us all, we never know when, life is all about letting go, at moment I feel a presence so deep, a drifting cloud so full of love. In trying difficult circumstances , we have to try and remember we are all the same, we are all exposed, all equal, it’s our individuality that distinguishes one among others and our inspiring strength that encourages others even at death, all of us naked none of us safe. We are imprisoned in a world of mortality , and because of this we must fight everyday to give meaning to our lives. At this present time I take comfort in the belief that the soul never dies, it continues to live on after death. 
The following poem by American modernist poet Marianne Moore  I hope helps explore my drifting thoughts deeper.

What are years

What is our innocence,
what is our guilt? All are
naked, none is safe. And whence
is courage: the unanswered question,
the resolute doubt, —
dumbly calling, deafly listening—that
in misfortune, even death,
encourage others
and in its defeat, stirs
the soul to be strong? He
sees deep and is glad, who
accedes to mortality
and in his imprisonment rises
upon himself as
the sea in a chasm, struggling to be
free and unable to be,
in its surrendering
finds its continuing.
So he who strongly feels,
behaves. The very bird,
grown taller as he sings, steels
his form straight up. Though he is captive,
his mighty singing
says, satisfaction is a lowly
thing, how pure a thing is joy.
This is mortality,
this is eternity.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Remembering Chartist leaders found guilty of high treason in Newport Rising of 1839


The People’s Charter had been launched in the spring of 1838 to demand universal male suffrage and other egalitarian electoral reforms. - See more at: http://www.internationalsocialist.org.uk/index.php/2013/11/on-this-day-4111839-the-newport-rising/#sthash.1XaXbYTG.dpuf
The People’s Charter had been launched in the spring of 1838 to demand universal male suffrage and other egalitarian electoral reforms. - See more at: http://www.internationalsocialist.org.uk/index.php/2013/11/on-this-day-4111839-the-newport-rising/#sthash.1XaXbYTG.dpuf
The People's Charter had been launched in the spring of 1838. The Chartists wanted the vote for all men (though not for women) and a fairer electoral system. They also called for annual elections, the payment of MPs, and the introduction of a secret ballot.Working conditions in many coalfields and ironworks in South Wales were harsh, and there was often conflict between workers and employers. Given these circumstances, it was no surprise that Chartism developed quickly. In the summer of 1838 a Working Men's Association was formed in Newport, Monmouthshire to publicise the People's Charter. Within six months, the radical leader John Frost estimated that there were between 15,000 and 20,000 Chartists in the county of Monmouthshire.Chartism fought for democratic demands, but it was not solely a democratic movement, it was a revolutionary class struggle to change society. William Price, https://teifidancer-teifidancer.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/william-price-441800-2311893.html a Pontypridd Chartist leader said: "Oppression, injustice and the grinding poverty which burdens our lives must be abolished for all time."

 
In May 1838 eloquent public speaker  Henry Vincent, well known locally for his speaking tour of South Wales a year earlier, on 2 August all of 20 miles away in Monmouth was arrested for making inflammatory speeches. When he was tried on the 2nd August at Monmouth Assizes he was found guilty and sentenced to twelve months imprisonment. Vincent was denied writing materials and only allowed to read books on religion.
Chartists in Wales were furious and the decision was followed by several outbreaks of violence.John Frost toured Wales making speeches urging people not to break the law. Instead Frost called for a massive protest meeting to show the strength of feeling against the imprisonment of Henry Vincent. Frost's plan was to march on Newport where the Chartists planned to demand the release of Vincent.
The authorities in Newport heard rumours that the Chartists were armed and planned to seize Newport. Stories also began to circulate that if the Chartists were successful in Newport, it would encourage others all over Britain to follow their example.On 4 November 1839, 5,000 men roused with much anger  marched into Newport ,and attempted to take control of the town. They marched to  Westgate Hotel, where they had heard that after several more arrests, local authorities were temporarily holding several chartists, began chanting "surrender our prisoners". Troops protecting the hotel were then given the order to begin firing into the crowd, killing at least 22 people, and another fifty being wounded and resulted  in  the uprising being bought to an abrupt end. Among the injured was a Chartist named John Lovell, who was shot in the thigh and badly wounded. It would be the last large scale uprising in the history of  mainland Britain.


                                                   the attack on Westgate Hotel
 
Following the Newport defeat, South Wales was placed under martial law and hundreds of Chartists arrested or forced into hiding.Within days  many of the alleged the ringleaders including Frost were arrested and in December they were accused of high treason. John Lovell, Charles Waters, Jenkin Morgan, Richard Benfield and John Rees , on the advice of their counsels, were urged to plead guilty in the hopes that the Crown prosecutors could prevail upon the Judges to set the death penalty aside in their cases and on the 15 January 1840, they appeared together in court and pleaded guilty. The remaining four Chartists in Monmouth gaol - James Aust, Solomon Brtton, George Turner, Edmund Edmunds, were brought before the bar where to everyone's amazement, the Attorney General withdrew all charges against them and they were freed with a verbal admonishment.
 However on 16th January 1840, Lord Chief Justice Judge Tindal  having found them guilty  sentenced  John Frost, Zephaniah Williams and William Jones to a traitors death of hanging, drawing and quartering, the last time such a sentence was issued in the UK.
 
                                         
                                          Zepaniah Williams, John Frost, William Jones
 
The severity of the sentences shocked many people and thanks to the vigorous lobbying and protests  in support of the convicted Chartists, it led to to their sentences being commuted to transportation for life.When they actually received a total pardon in 1856. Jones stayed in Australia as a watchmaker and Williams stayed in Tasmania, where he subsequently made his fortune discovering coal. However, John Frost, who had worked as a school teacher in Tasmania, returned to Britain, where he received a triumphant welcome in Newport.
The Newport rising was a turning point for the Chartist movement. 'Physical force Chartism' was no longer popular however, and an uprising of the size seen in Newport for the time being has never happened again. However the movement gained strength and popularity throughout Britain and although it failed its purpose at the time, five of the Six Points of the original Charter which the Chartists had campaigned for have since been conceded, only the demand for Annual Parliaments not so far being accepted. A beautiful mural  as written about here previously:-
https://teifidancer-teifidancer.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/destruction-of-chartist-mural.html
depicting four scenes from the Newport Rising, located in a pedestrian underpass in the city, was  recently shamefully destroyed to make way for a shopping center.
Long may the Chartists struggle and its leaders be remembered who helped give voice to the popular misery and discontent of the time in their struggle for democracy.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

As the NHS reaches breaking point, it must be kept in public hands.


After careful consideration whether to resume this blog after the recent sad loss of my partner, I have decided to continue, I believe it is what the dear one would have wanted. This post then dedicated to her memory.The NHS served her well.
Ever since 1948 the National Health Service has been the envy of the world. It is the greatest contribution towards social and health equality. The NHS is an example of how a caring society can create good and safe care based on social solidarity. The NHS is the best way to ensure fair access to treatment for the acute or long-term sick, and those with complex or costly health needs, irrespective of their ability to pay.
But if the NHS was a car dashboard, every single warning light would be flashing at the moment after  more than 20 NHS trusts across England declared black alerts in the last week, meaning they can no longer guarantee patient safety. Even here in Wales, where the issue is devolved,Labour's 'modernisation' of the NHS in Wales in the Welsh assembly has led to the downgrading of maternity units, A&E departments and the loss of 2,000 hospital beds. This means reduced access to health care for many in Wales, especially for those without a car, the elderly, disabled people and some of the poorest communities with the furthest to travel. Staff working on the frontlines are feeling the impact, leaving many demoralised and combined with a neglect in funding, this has led to the neglect of people. All across social media, we can hear daily live reports from front line NHS staff struggling to save lives in the face of the government’s reckless under-funding and under-resourcing of the service.Because of this the system isn't at breaking point, it's actually beyond that.As the chairman of  the BMA ( British Medical Association), Mark Porter, recently said: “The intervention from the Red Cross highlights the enormous pressure the NHS is facing as conditions in hospitals across the country are reaching a dangerous level. The government should be ashamed that it has got the point where volunteers have been necessary to ease the burden.”
But how does the Government in westminster under Theresa May respond to this tragic situation, well  as per bloody usual  they simply use the 'blame' game to shed their own responsibility, and as every day goes by it becomes clearer  that Theresa May and co have no flipping idea how to respond  adequately to the present crisis. The 'crisis' in the NHS is not the fault of A&E departments,patients lazy GP practices or incompetent Nurses, it is an entirely manufactured crisis that has resulted in unnecessary pain, suffering and even death, and is what happens when you under-fund a service, increase workloads to breaking point, refuse to meet ever increasing demand, make people spend more time doing paperwork than they actually spend face to face with patients, make training harder and harder to get in to and make roles post training so unattractive that nobody wants to do them.This combined with creeping privatisation by the Conservatives by stealth of health services over recent years has led to the pursuit of profit being introduced to this cherished institution despite the repeated failures and costs of private provision.
There is also a shortage of 20,000 NHS nurses. Pressure on staff means tired health workers, threatening patient safety, and instead of helping to recruit more the Tories have scrapped bursaries for student nurses, making them pay for their training!The workload remains constant and extreme. Missing food for a whole shift 10 hour is not uncommon, nor is finishing 2-3 hours late.Newly qualified junior doctors look after up to 100 patients the end result unable to provide  proper care to each individual.One in ten hospital beds are occupied by patients who can't be released because of cuts to social care. This means operations are cancelled, causing patients to be seen in private hospitals, costing the NHS. 
Theresa May's demands for yet more austerity in the NHS represent a real risk to the safety of patients and the service. The Governments latest plans for Sustainability and Transformation plans are in  in reality just a smokescreen for further cuts and it's latest instrument of privatisation.
Doctors up and down the country are bloody angry too with the Prime Minister's demands to open seven days a week, with some claiming they will quit the health service alltogether.Anyway there are simply not enough  GP's in the UK to enable this that could guarantee peoples safety.The Royal College of General Practitioners says 600 practices - with 75% of GPs in these aged over 55 - are at risk of closure by 2020. This will result in a shortage of 10,000 GPs in the next four years.Yet patients are already struggling to get appointments. Many end up in hospital A&E departments, suffering long waits,this I fear is only going to get worse.
Despite all this terrible news I can reliably report that the caring spirit is still well and truly alive throughout the NHS.After my loved one and my father were both admitted to hospital recently, all I ever witnessed were NHS staff  working beyond the call of duty with such dedication, despite all the pressures and obstacles placed in their way.
I passionately believe, that in this time of crisis, the NHS must remain a publicly funded service, free at the point of need and accountable to us the tax payer.  Theresa May simply cannot be trusted  with it.The NHS is the single greatest achievement of working class people. We cannot  simply sit by and allow it to be undermined and ultimately destroyed. Please consider signing the following two  petitions and share. Our NHS is not for sale and must be kept in public hands.

Petition- NHS Privatisation.

http://www.nhs-needs-cpr.co.uk/

The NHS must never be privatised and remain a free, publicly funded UK service.

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/174321
.
Join the NHS demo on 4th March to show the Government that their are still folk with the faith to fight for it.

 

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Jane the mighty furbster's funeral arrangements



Jane Elizabeh Husband  my beautiful partner of Seabrook House, Cwmins, St Dogmaels who  passed away peacefully att her home on Sunday January 8th, 2017 aged 56 years, funeral will be held at Narberth Crematorium on Thursday 19th January at 11.30am. Family Flowers only, Donations instead to Paul Sartori

Enquiries  to Colin Phillips and Daughters Funeral Directors.

Cardigan : Tel: 01239 621192

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

For the mighty furbster , Jane Elizabeth Husband (9/5/60 - 8/1/17) - Flower of Grace


This is the most difficult post I've ever written, probably one of my shortest, but  it is with great sadness I must release the news  that my lover and partner,the blessed  mighty furbster Jane Husband has passed  away after a long courageous  battle with cancer.
This beautiful musician, gardener, book lover, music aficionada,peace campaigner, nature loving, feline admirer, friend of social justice, touched the hearts and minds of many, with her love, compassion and understanding.Never passive though, carried so much strength, ... cheers to her mum and dad and reg the crow.
May this star forever shine brightly, her light forever remains.This wonderful , beautiful spirit, captured entirely what is good about humanity. RIP dearest beloved Jane thank you so much for sharing your love. xxxx

RIP dearest beloved Jane.

Flower of Grace


Thank you kindly, farewell beloved

 on every morning of the future

 we  will feel your  spirit

and know that you will understand

as you sit there on your cloud

watching gardens  below  bloom again  

the seasons  will thank you

your beauty will never dim

words ever clear, vision bright

as we continue to fight through life

remembering all the happy times we shared

my thinking will be warmed

by thoughts  of a rare beauty

in peace and total harmony.

Love you, Dave Rendle, teifidancer, Aberteifi/Cardigan, 9/1/17


Sunday, 8 January 2017

Harrods: stop stealing your waiters tips


One of the worlds wealthiest stores was the scene of protest yesterday in a row over tips.
Workers at Harrod's 16  restaurants claim department store bosses keep up to 75 percent of the service charge on each bill. They say the current system means staff are missing out on up to £5,000 a year.
Between 50 and 100 demonstrators led by the union United Voices of the World, which represents some of the west London store’s waiters and kitchen staff, brought Brompton Road almost to a standstill blocking doorways and roads and setting off smoke bombs at Harrods in protest against the store's policy of stealing workers tips collected at its cafes and restaurants.Furious protesters also chanted and slipped notes into pockets, bags and boxes of goods being sold in the store.Campaigners also held up banners which read: “Stop stealing our tips” and “Harrods tips are not for profit”.It led to two  people being subsequently arrested.

 
 
Mr Petros Elia, UVW general secretary, says “Harrods is showing complete disdain for its low paid staff while profiting off their backs.” Staff are rightly angry that, despite the fact that the store has registered massive, record-breaking profits and its owners, the Qatari royal family, have paid themselves a whopping £100 million dividend, they’ve seen their share of the service charge go down.”
Elia also points out that most diners assume their tips are a reward for good service. “Harrods is also exploiting the good will of its customers, most of whom will logically assume that their tips go to waiters and kitchen staff.”
“Taking away any percentage of the service charge, which customers think is going to the waiters, is unacceptable. Taking up to 75% is an utter disgrace. “
That 75% means that every year the Qatari royal family, which owns Harrods, is taking up to £5,000 worth of tips from every chef, waiter and porter. Famous worldwide Harrods, had record profits in 2016 of £168m. There is no excuse for Harrods, (not the only ones in the hospitality industry incidentally that carry out this practice.) to keep any of the service charge for themselves.
It is about time that this practice of keeping part or hole tips and service charges is outlawed, as the staff are underpaid, robbed and the guests are lied to. Justice to all those working in hospitality industry currently being ripped off and Harrods stop stealing your waiters tips.


Friday, 6 January 2017

Idris Davies (6/1/1905- 6/4/53) -The heart of a dreamer/ Love Lasts Longer



Here are two poems from the pen of one of my favourite poets Idris Davies, who was born on this day, January 6th 1905, in Rhymney. His writings in English and Welsh reflected the idealism and protest of people during a time of great economic, social religious change. In books like The Angry Summer and Gwalia Deserta, Idris Davies did more than just write poetry, he captured the essential dignity of the working man and woman. No other writer has ever come close to expressing the sadness and the depression of the Welsh valleys at that particular moment in time.
Many of his poems were full of anger and rage that release his strong socialist faith, but was more than capable of releasing poems of great  tenderness and comfort as the following two examples prove. Enjoy.
I have written about him in a little bit more detail here earlier, he remains a huge influence on me  :- Idris Davies -Poet of the people

https://teifidancer-teifidancer.blogspot.co.uk/2010/02/idris-davies-poet-of-people.html 

From The Collected Poems of Idris Davies, edited by Islwyn Jenkins, published by Gwasg Gomer., 1972

THE HEART OF A DREAMER

 I broke my heart in five pieces
And buried a part by the sea
And I hid a part in the mountains
And the third in the root of a tree,
And the fourth I gave to a singer
Who share his wild ecstasy,
But the best I gave to a woman
Who gave all her heart to me.

LOVE LASTS LONGER

Love lasts longer than the roses,
Love is warmer than the wine,
Love is wilder than the whirlwind,
        And O that love were mine !

Love is older than the mountains,
Love is fresher than the ides,
Love is sweeter than the lilies,
      And O that love were mine!

Love is stronger than the granite,
Love is gentler than a sigh,
Love is richer than the rubies,
     And O that love were mine!

Love lasts longer than the roses,
     And O that love were mine...

1937

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Know Hope: Life after death in Palestine: crowdfund appeal for new film



“After years on Israel’s most wanted list, a Palestinian militant leader renounces violence for cultural resistance. His losses are great but his hopes are greater.”

Know Hope is a planned  documentary on Zakaria Zubede former head of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade who gave up armed struggle against Israeli occupation and helped to found a theater company–The Freedom Theatre in Jenin. Zakaria was once the most wanted man is Israel for his part in resisting the occupation during the second Palestinian uprising.  In 2007 however, he renounced militancy for Israeli amnesty, committing himself solely to cultural resistance and soon became one of the symbols for the cultural movement in Palestine.  This fact has made him a continued target, not just from Israel but from the Palestinian Authority as well.
It will be an important documentary in highlighting the Palestinian plight, about elemental issues of self determination, of the desire for peace, and the never ending search for a resolution to the situation. This complex story follows Zakaria  who's life embodies the tragedy and the paradox of the Occupation, he represents their past and is hopeful for their future. He wants peace with Israel, but  peace cannot come without freedom; this must come before the other. He no longer puts his hope in a distressingly compromised two state solution but behind a movement for equal rights for all between the river Jordan and the Mediterranean sea and the desire to share the riches of a binational democracy.

You can visit the “Know Hope” website here:-  http://www.knowhopefilm.com/ 

Link to  website of The Freedom Theatre :- http://www.thefreedomtheatre.org/

Video on project :- https://player.vimeo.com/video/194693220
 
Here is link to crowdfunder page where you can help complete the film. In total, they  need to raise around £75,000 to cover the entire completion costs, and a portion of this they are hoping to crowdfund :-

 http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/know-hope-film/


Tuesday, 3 January 2017

RIP John Berger- Goodbye to a beautiful mind.( 5/11/26 - 2/1/16)

 

The Booker prize-winning author and art critic, political radical, philosopher, poet, storyteller and one of the most influential intellectuals of our time John Berger has died at the age of 90. 
The Marxist intellectual, whose pioneering 1972 book and subsequent four part BBC series, Ways of Seeing, brought a political perspective to art criticism, died at his home in the Paris suburb of Antony on Monday. He had been ill for about a year.
 In one of his final interviews with the Observer’s Kate Kellaway, giving his view, among other things, on the bigger picture around the Brexit vote.“It seems to me that we have to return, to recapitulate what globalisation meant, because it meant that capitalism, the world financial organisations, became speculative and ceased to be first and foremost productive, and politicians lost nearly all their power to take political decisions – I mean politicians in the traditional sense. Nations ceased to be what they were before.”
Born in Hackney, London, England, Berger served in the British Army from 1944 to 1946; he then enrolled in the Chelsea School of Art and the Central School of Art in London.He began his career as a painter and exhibited work at a number of London galleries in the late 1940s and continued to paint throughout his career.
While teaching drawing (from 1948 to 1955), Berger became an art critic, publishing many essays and reviews in the New Statesman. His Marxist humanism and his strongly stated opinions on modern art made him a controversial figure early in his career. He titled an early collection of essays Permanent Red, in part as a statement of political commitment, and later wrote that before the Soviet Union achieved nuclear parity with the United States he had felt constrained not to criticize the former's policies; afterwards his attitude toward the Soviet state became considerably more critical.Throughout his long life, a vehement critic of capitalism, he kept challenging the way we see the world and how we think about it. 
Berger was he author of art criticism, novels, poetry, screenplays and many other books He won the Booker Prize in 1972 for his novel G, and pledged to give half the prize money to the revolutionary American group the Black Panthers who were he said at the time “the black movement with the socialist and revolutionary perspective that I find myself most in agreement with in this country”..Berger did not just speak of the oppressed, but stood with them, talked with them, and documented their stories.. I've personally  been reading recently  his collaboration with photographer Jean Mohr, A Seventh Man  which originally came out in 1975, that he produced with he rest of the money he was awarded at the Booker prize, in  in which he explored he story of migrant workers who far from being on he margins of modern experience are central to it.
He consistently challenged traditional interpretations of art and society and connections between the two. Berger was not political in a reductionist or dogmatic way. For him, all great art, and all noble politics, is created as a response to life. The great masters don’t interest him simply because they are great. (Art collectors, even the most discriminating ones, he noted, have a “manic obsession to prove that everything he has bought is incomparably great and that anybody who in any way questions this is an ignorant scoundrel.”) Berger studied their visions to learn something about survival, not just his own, but the also the survival of a world where people can live free and meaningful lives.Berger retained a revolutionary urge to stand against authority. Forbidden by a private security guard to draw a sketch of one of the Christs in the National Gallery, he swore and was asked to leave the building, " I take it you know the way out, Sir” said the guard. Berger knows the way out and has plotted the route for all of us.
Goodbye to a beautiful mind.

Here is link to some films about him that  came out last year :-

The Seasons in Quincy: Four Portraits of John Berger:

http://seasonsinquincy.com/

Obituary in the Guardian
 
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/jan/02/john-berger-art-critic-and-author-dies-aged-90
 
The following is  what John Berger had to say about poetry :-

"Poems, even when narrative, do not resemble stories. All stories are about battles, of one kind or another, which end in victory or defeat. Everything moves towards the end, when the outcome will be known.
Poems, regardless of any outcome, cross the battlefields, tending the wounded, listening to the wild monologues of the triumphant or the fearful. They bring a kind of peace. Not by anaesthesia or easy reassurance, but by recognition and the promise that what has been experienced cannot disappear as if it had never been. Yet the promise is not of a monument. (Who, still on a battlefield, wants monuments?) The promise is that language has acknowledged, has given shelter, to the experience which demanded, which cried out.
Poems are nearer to prayers than stories, but in poetry there is no one behind the language being prayed to. It is the language itself which has to hear and acknowledge. For the religious poet, the Word is the first attribute of God. In all poetry, words are a presence before they are a means of communication."

― John Berger, And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos


John Berger - The Art of Looking (2016)


Released on the occasion of his 90th birthday John Berger or the Art of Looking is an intimate portrait of the writer and art critic whose ground-breaking work on seeing has shaped our understanding of the concept for over five decades. The film explores how paintings become narratives and stories turn into images, and rarely does anybody demonstrate this as poignantly as Berger.This creative documentary takes a different approach to biography, with John Berger leading in his favourite role of the storyteller.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Every day is precious


(happy new year/blwyddyn newydd da)


Every day is precious

in  the cacophony of confusion

the decrepitude of our civilisation

as time moves on, now is the time
                                         to unite

a chance to reach out

comfort strangers in need of  love

all of us the same, brittle as sand

in human form easily bruised

lost sometimes waiting to be found

shadows dancing among the flames

crying for help  waiting to be released

spreading wings in shaking air

each day is a gift delivered

so keep inviting , keep giving support

keep defying the walls that divide

religious fanaticism, fascism and greed

in  unity we can release comfort

to all that are in need

give the gift of compassion

with all our hearts and soul

reach out with mutual aid.